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November 18, 2018

Cop kills OCS, seven officers in 8-hour Kapenguria shooting

General Service Unit officers outside Kapenguria police station in West Pokot county on Thursday, following an attack by a gunman.
General Service Unit officers outside Kapenguria police station in West Pokot county on Thursday, following an attack by a gunman.

Sources said the policeman applied for a transfer from West Pokot county, but it was declined. He then opted to resign but this, too, was opposed by his bosses

 

A policeman, not a terror suspect, killed an OCS and six other officers at Kapenguria police station yesterday, the Star has learnt.

The slain officers are OCS Vitalis Ochido, Wilson Karani, Katana Kitu, Gideon Ochieng, Robert Kinyua and Cornelius Rono all of Kapenguria police station. Dennis Momanyi, who was part of the Recce Company flown in from Ruiru yesterday, was also killed.

Multiple sources said the police constable who attacked the station was angry that his boss re-assigned him to other duties. It is believed that officer Abdikham Maslah had problems with his commanders and wanted a transfer that was declined.

Sources said Maslah wanted to resign from his job but his commanders opposed this too.

“He is said to have stayed on against his wishes,” an officer familiar with the issue said.

Maslah returned to the station in West Pokot county at about 4am and started shooting at his colleagues.

He is said to have shot at officers who tried to access the station from a strategic place of hiding. It took nine hours before he was subdued.

The officer took control of the entire police report office for the better part of the day. Other reports indicate the officer, who had once served at the station, was on a mission to rescue a madrassa teacher being held there.

The teacher was reportedly detained on suspicion of recruiting residents into al Shabaab. He was to appear in court yesterday.

Officers sent to the scene earlier were unable to take charge of the situation but were instead seen grouped under trees.

After the long stand-off, an elite team of Recce officers and the Hostage Rescue Team flown from Nairobi overpowered the officer and shot him.

 

Earlier reports

With scant reports being sent to newsrooms by IG Joseph Boinnet, Kenyans were initially informed that the lone man was a Shabaab militant.

Boinnet said the gunman was arrested over links to al Shabaab and was to appear in court yesterday morning.

South Rift regional commissioner Wanyama Musiambo did not deny or confirm whether the attacker was an officer, but said they are investigating.

He said the armed man stormed the station in West Pokot county at about 4am. This conflicted with reports given by Boinnet, who said the incident began at 5.30am.

The regional commissioner said several people were killed and injured, but did not give a number, adding “suspects in cells were evacuated and none of them was injured”.

Reports had indicated the man was arrested on Wednesday in Nakwijit, North Pokot, and was to be taken to court.

West Pokot county commissioner Wilson Wanyanga confirmed OCS Vitalis Ochido was killed, adding “schools near the police station have been closed”.

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